Press Releases (SoftBank Telecom Corp.) 2007

Successful Relay Transmission Experiment
Using Fiber Optic Quantum Stream Cipher (Y-00) on a Commercial Network
The World's first: IP data and fiber channel transmission on approx. 200km long Y-00 encrypted optical fiber network at 2.5Gbps

April 6, 2007
Hitachi Information & Communication Engineering, Ltd.
Tamagawa University

SOFTBANK TELECOM Corp. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative: Masayoshi Son, hereinafter ”SBTM”), Hitachi Information & Communication Engineering, Ltd. (Head office: Nishi-ku, Yokohama; Representative: Katsuro Wakai, hereinafter “Hitachi”), and Professor Hirota of Tamagawa University (Machida-shi, Tokyo) announced that they had succeeded in the Y-00 cryptograhped transmission of a multistage fiber relay over a total distance of approximately 200km, IP data (Gigabit Ethernet) and fiber channel transmission(*).  This was attained by connecting the 2.5Gbps fiber optic Quantum Stream Cipher (Y-00) transceiver (developed by Hitachi) to the commercial optical fiber network and optical amplifier owned by SBTM.
The Y-00 transceiver used in the experiments was developed by Hitachi, based on Professor Hirota’s theory and formula.  The purpose of this experiment is to realize a new type of secure communication, which is hoped for in the Next Generation Network.

  • *Fiber Channel Transmission: High speed communication protocol used by companies’ computers etc. to access data stored in data centers.

1. Outline of the experiments

(1) Safety Improvement

Heretofore Y-00 transceivers composed by either a transmitter or a receiver only transmitted information in one-way.  For this experiment, Hitachi developed a new 2.5Gbps Y-00 transceiver which combined the transmitter and receiver functionality in one; this made bidirectional transmission the same as to standard communication services possible.  Moreover, by increasing the optical modulation values from the past value of 256 to 1024 and adding a running key randomization, the safety and long-distance transmission performance were improved.

(2) Longer distance

The world’s longest (192km) transmission on a Y-00 transceiver with optical intensity modulation was successfully executed.  This was done by relaying an attenuated fiber optic signal, to be amplified with an optical amplifier, on the 48km long commercial optical fiber network between the SBTM head office and its data center.  Error-free communications with a bit-error rate of less than 1/1,000,000,000,000 (1x10-12) were confirmed.

(3) Available on WDM

Error-free communication was confirmed by multiplexing the 2 facing Y-00 fiber optic transceivers’ signal with the optical coupler, transmitting via WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) which transmits on one fiber optic.

(4) Available on standard communication protocol

IP packet and fiber channel’s protocols’ Y-00 cryptograhped transmission without packet loss was confirmed.  This was monitored using a media converter on the above (1) 192 km long optical fiber network to configure a 2.5Gbps SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) communication protocol path.  The transmission was also confirmed while Gigabit Ethernet (speed of 1.25Gbps) and fiber channel (speed 1Gbps) data were placed on the path simultaneously.

(5) Practical application

Streaming transmission of video data on the Gigabit Ethernet which is established (in the above (4)) was tested file transferring on the fiber channel Storage Access Network (SAN) was executed, therefore, good operation of all application was confirmed.

2. Experiment objectives

The objective of the experiments was to establish a new highly secure communication technology, which is anticipated as the Next Generation Network, and to evaluate the application possibilities on currently widely used commercial network services.
SBTM executed these experiments as a part of the new service development project of the next generation ICT platform service “IRIS”, announced in December 2005.  Within the scope of IRIS concept various next generation platform services are under development. The objective of this experiment is to test the applicability on a platform solution that will provide an ultrahigh network security level. 
In order to contribute to the realization of the Next Generation Network, Hitachi has been developing various types of technologies.  The promotion of development research on the highly secure fiber optic Quantum Stream Cipher (Y-00) transceiver is part of this.  It is based on Professor Hirota’s theory and formula and was started in 2002.  The objective of the latest experiments was the technological establishment of a highly secure Next Generation Network, using the above method, and the evaluation of applicability in the marketplace.

3. Expected future expansion

In this experiment multistage relay transmittance via an optical amplifier, which can be applied to a long-distance network as well as the applicability to various broadband commercial network environments was confirmed.
In the future the application of this method for corporate broadband IP network services, such as IP-VPN/Ethernet, and for ISP’s backbone network providing internet access services, is anticipated. Since the use of the WDM transmission method makes transmission of larger data volumes possible, the application on terabit class transmission channels is also anticipated.
Moreover, as a solution service it will be applied as 1) a security network that countermeasures hackers and terrorism in the following mission critical environments such as government and local government critical sites, most important infra sites of electric power plants, secret military sites etc; and 2) the security solution used by corporate business users accessing classified information stored in a data center. 
Currently, realization of service has not been scheduled yet, however further the development research on high security networks will have been continued, taking the market needs and business model opportunities under consideration.

4. About Y-00

Y-00 is a new Quantum Stream Cipher method which directly encrypts large amounts of data at high speed and enables long-distance communication invented by Professor H.P.Yuen of Northwestern University in 2000. This encryption is done by using unavoidable quantum shot noise at measurement of laser light.
The compatibility of Y-00 and the fiber communication method (optical intensity modulation method) broadly used by carriers is high.  It can also be put into practice as a switching control method (SDH redundancy functionality) used during system failure on commercial networks.  The Y-00 method is very adjustable to the commercial backbone network of the operators.  Moreover, as Integrated Circuiting is possible, integration with currently spread fiber optic transceivers is easy, and expanded growth in various fields is anticipated.

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Hitachi Information & Communication Engineering, Ltd.

Tamagawa University Research Institute:

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